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20 Characteristics of Shango, life-saving thunder ax Orisha

Characteristics of Shango

Shango is the King of Kings owner of lightning, of fire and thunder, known for his battles won, his bravery and broad sense of organization throughout his reign.

It is the male Osha Shango who with his sword is opening paths and conquering hearts in the Yoruba religion.

The Oní Shango (those who have Shango consecrated as Orisha Alagbatori or Guardian Angel in the Rule of Osha-Ifá "Santeria") when they say his name and hear thunder and lightning, they raise their heels in reverence and shout Kawo Silé! what does it mean: "who rules at home" to indicate that Shango is the one who reigns.

This warrior Osha has many characteristics, including:

Ax of Shango
Ax of Shango

1. What does Orisha symbolize in the Yoruba religion?

It represents the most vigorous and attractive Orisha, so among its weaknesses are the drum, dancing, parties and women.

In the Yoruba Pantheon it is fire and its power, a warrior who conquers, a very righteous deity who fulfills what he promises to his children and devotees on Earth.

2. Colors and their meaning

The identifying colors of Shango are red combined with white.

  • Red represents the vital force, vibes that it emits through its speed, courage, daring and control to dominate the lightning, the fire and the thunder.
  • The white color calms and slows down your impulses, it also represents knowledge and balance.

According to Yoruba legends, it is Obatalá who gives Shango the white beads on his necklace (eleke) so that Shango can exercise justice in the world in an equitable way.

3. Animals offered to you

His favorite foods are:

  • The ram (abo), the jicotea (ayakuá), the rooster (akukó), the guinea (etú), and the quail (akuaro).

In specific cases of Ifá or Diloggún they are sacrificed:

  • Goat (Oúnko), Snapper (eyá bo), Dog (ayá), Turkey (tolo tolo), among others.

4. Power tools

Among the items in your possession are:

  • The sword,
  • a glass,
  • medium drum,
  • axes,
  • scimitar (saber with a long curved blade).

Among these tools in its absolute power is the bipene ax, that is, the double-edged ax, called Oshé, which is represented by a figure or doll made of wood that carries that ax on its head.

This ax symbolizes the fairness of justice and the power over men that Shango possesses.

5. The lightning stone is from Shango

In the Yoruba people Shango is known as Edún Aará, where Edun means ax and ara thunder, which would be "thunder ax", which is made with lightning stone, and said stone belongs to Shango.

6. Numerology and its meaning

Its otá (stones) are 6 and that is its identification number of vibration with its multiples.

  • The number 6 symbolizes balance, equilibrium, an alignment and knowledge.

7. Animal that symbolizes in Yoruba mythology

Shango is represented as a tiger or leopard in the Yoruba religion.

Tigers or leopards are animals that are metaphorically washed with the blood of the ram, just as Shango feeds on the blood of the ram that is offered to him as a sacrifice.

8. The fruit of the pumpkin

Shango to the pumpkin respects it a lot, because it is the one that Ashé gives to the blessed word of Oloddumare.

9. Another name of the Orisha

Shango is also named ewegbemiye which means "herb that saves life", he is also the owner of the Ewe Ire tree (female jagüey).

10. The 3 Messengers of Kawo Sile

Shango is also known as elythymus (owner of knowledge and bright eyes) because he has the power to know everything that is spoken, even in whispers.

This power is obtained through his three messengers that are:

  • The lightning (manamana),
  • the thunder (araun) and
  • the darkness (Biri Aymeyo).

11. Shango as a fortune teller

Knowledge is owned by Shangó because he was the first Awo, owner and interpreter of Ifá.

According to Yoruba stories, the warrior was a fortune teller, but later he changed the Atepon Ifa or Ifa board for the drum. Aña (divinity that lives and gives life to the sound of the drum), which is why it is so linked to music and its energy.

12. His relationship with Eleguá

He always works with Elegguá and they form the perfect duo.

Eleguá in the Rule of Osha or Santeria is the owner of the road, the first to be attended and the one who always deserves the first religious honors.

Both Orishas develop their powers together and complement each other as good companions.

13. Wives of Shango

In Yoruba mythology, Shangó maintains romances with Oyá the goddess of the spark, Oshún the queen of love and Obbá, the orisha who represents sacrifice and abnegation, but only with the latter does he marry.

14. Items you don't like

He does not like pigeons, nor the kolá nut (Obi Abata).

15. Relationship with the Jimaguas Ibeyis

According to the Yoruba pataki, the sons of Shango are the Ibeyis, known as the Jimaguas in Santeria, two orishas that are children and represent luck and abundance, saviors of the malevolent.

Some legends narrate that Shangó conceived them with Oshun and others say that it was with Oyá, but everyone agrees that both abandoned the twins due to the fury of Shangó, who beat them believing that they were unfaithful.

As a result of the bad relationship with Shango, the legitimate mother of the Ibeyis abandoned them under a taro leaf and they were collected by Yemayá, who has raised and cared for them ever since.

When Orunmila found out about the way Shango acted, he dictates that in Santo's room (Igbodun) the taro leaf (ewe ikoko) would always be present to remember the Ibeyis.

16. Religious receptacle of the Orisha

Shango lives in our houses in a pan that is a round container (receptacle) with a lid, made of cedar wood.

You can also find trays of chestnut colors or similar tones, and others with red and white colors.

The pan is placed on top of a pylon.

17. Foods, fruits and drinks that you love

Among the offerings that he likes is mainly corn flour with okra called "Amala Ilá." This food is very spicy, because he likes strong foods.

He also likes fruits such as banana, red apples, red mamey, pomegranate, figs, among others.

And among the drinks his favorite is red wine.

18. Day of the week and celebration of Shango

The day of the week that Shango governs is Wednesdays, but he likes Sundays a lot. Day in which we can attend him and venerate him with prayers and offerings.

  • Its celebration in Santeria is on December 4 in syncretism with Santa Bárbara.

19. What Shango does NOT like

He does not approve of corruption, much less the lie of his children, so he judges without compassion.

He is one of the most righteous orishas, ​​he should not be lied to, disrespected or promised what is not going to be fulfilled.

20. Shango is an Orisha of great power

There is no Osha-Ifá ceremony without Shango being the main witness.

In addition to being a major deity within the Yoruba pantheon, she is part of the seven African Powers, is crowned as a tutelary Orisha in the Osha-Ifá Rule and represents one of the greatest powers in Yoruba mythology.

Some pious offerings dedicated to Shango:

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